Somaliland:Ex-Badger Mohammed Ahmed strikes Pan Am gold in 10,000 meter
TORONTO — Mohammed Ahmed was the golden boy Tuesday night in the 10,000 meters at the 2015 Pan American Games.
Running in front of a home crowd, the former University of Wisconsin runner — racing for Team Canada — used a strong final lap to win the gold medal in the event.
Ahmed finished in 28 minutes, 49.96 seconds, besting Team USA’s Aron Rono, who finished second in 28:50.83.
Ahmed, Rono and Juan Luis Barrios of Mexico broke away from the pack with 300 meters to go as Rono grabbed the lead. With just under 200 meters to go, Ahmed passed Rono on the outside and sprinted to the finish.
Canada’s Ahmed Mohammed sticks out his tongue as he crosses the finish line during the finals of the men’s 10,000 meter run at the Pan Am Games in Toronto, Tuesday, July 21, 2015. Mohammed won the gold medal. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
The Pan American Games are the world’s third-largest international multi-sport games, as only the Summer Olympics and the Asian Games are larger. The Pan Am Games, which feature athletes from 41 countries, take place every four years the summer prior to the Summer Olympics.
A seven-time All-American while at UW, Ahmed holds the Big Ten record in the 10,000 meters at 27:34.64 and is one of three UW athletes to break the 13:30 barrier in the 5,000 meters. He won five Big Ten individual titles during his collegiate career and helped the Badgers win the NCAA cross country title in 2011.
Ahmed, a native of St. Catharines, Ontario, is no stranger to competing on the international stage for Team Canada.
He competed in the 10,000 meters at the 2012 Summer Olympics, the 2013 IAAF World Championships and the 2014 Commonwealth Games. On Monday, Athletics Canada announced that Ahmed will race in the 5000 meters at the 2015 IAAF World Championships in August.